Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times
A theater program for incarcerated men and women, a group pressing for bail reform and an organization offering legal services to prisoners are among the 30 recipients of the first round of grants from the Art for Justice Fund, created in June by the philanthropist Agnes Gund.
The organization announced on Wednesday that it has given $22 million in awards to support criminal justice reform and assist those who have been incarcerated.
Ms. Gund, president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art, established the fund in partnership with the Ford Foundation using the proceeds from the sale of a Roy Lichtenstein painting, “Masterpiece,” early this year for $165 million, including fees. She committed $100 million of the revenue from the sale to the fund.
“This is one thing I can do before I die,” Ms. Gund said in an interview when the fund was created. “This is what I need to do.”
In this round of grants, 30 programs received awards of $100,000 to $7.5 million. Recipients include Color of Change, an organization that promotes bail reform and campaigns against racial injustice; the Alliance for Safety and Justice, a group that seeks to diminish mass incarceration through crime prevention and prisoner rehabilitation; and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, which aims to end hiring discrimination against ex-prisoners and reunite those who have been incarcerated with their children.
Arts programs also number among the grant recipients. The Actors’ Gang, a nonprofit theater organization in California that works with incarcerated men and women, will use its grant to begin a program for staff members of correctional facilities. The National Book Foundation will start a “Literature for Justice” program.
Since Ms. Gund’s initial donation, nearly 30 other donors have made contributions of at least $100,000 to the fund, organizers say, and the plan is for all of the fund’s money to be distributed over the next five years.